When I attended Moreno and Cosimo Miorelli's Athos, I was suffused by unusually intense deep feelings. Moreno's words put me into a hypnotic trance, while at the same time, Cosimo's pictures opened up to me one world after another. One world afther another. And then another. I admit I felt another emotion, an emotion I very rarely feel â pride. I was proud that I could be there to see it and hear it. I was proud that it could even be possible. Father and son, warriors.
Not warriors of war, but warriors of art.
The audience is taken through a journey in the remote atmospheres of Mount Athos guided by words, images and sounds. These three different "voices" interact, interweaving memory and imagination. "Athos" is a live set combining projected digital painting, spoken word and music into a unique storytelling device.
"Athos. Appunti dalla Montagna Santa"
Moreno, my father, had the chance to visit Mount Athos in the January of 1985, driven by his passionate research on the tradition and symbolism of Byzantine icons. Thanks to special permits, hostile weather conditions and some lucky encounters he could travel from one monastery to the other much longer than the usual 4-days visitor visa would allow.
Mount Athos or Aghion Oros, the Holy Mountain, is in fact a semi-autonomous republic located in the furthest Chalkidiki peninsula, on the Aegean sea. It is populated by around two thousand orthodox monks (Greeks, Russians, Bulgarians, Serbians, Romanians, etc) divided between twenty monasteries or living as hermits . The area takes its name from its southern mountain, Athos, a 2033 meters steep cliff rising straight from the sea. After obtaining a series of permits and visas the only way to access the peninsula is a daily boat connection from Ouranopolis, âCity of the Skyâ. All female creatures, animal or human, are forbidden to enter the Athos territory, as it is already consecrated to a "higher female being", the Virgin Mary.
These unusual facts together with a deep respect for the eastern orthodox tradition and rituals, the practice of Hesychasm and a constant presence of sacred and miraculous events in the daily life make this place the very last bulwark of the Byzantine world.
The stories and anecdotes my father brought back from his trip have accompanied my childhood, consolidating characters, atmospheres and places I have never really seen myself. Now, more than 25 years later, we have come together to recreate some of those evocative sensations and to play with the boundaries of memory and imagination. On this occasion weâll have with us a third storyteller, rumorist/musician Massimo Croce, who will create an environment for the tale using music and "pirate recordings" captured on the Athos by my father with a pocket tape recorder.
The performance is part of a larger project, that led to the creation of an illustrated book, "Athos. Appunti dalla Montagna Santa", published by Editori del Grifo in Italy.
Moreno Miorelli (Rovereto 1956), dedicated himself to poetry and the study of Byzantine icons for several years. Later on he collaborated with comic artists such as Andrea Pazienza and Danijel Zezelj and translated other international authors in Italian (Jodorovskij, Moebius, Heuet). Since 1994 he has focused on contemporary art, curating different events and festivals. In 1993 conceived and started Stazione di TopolÃ² /Postaja Topolove, which he still organizes and directs on the border between Italy and Slovenia. Lives in Cividale del Friuli
Cosimo Miorelli (Biella 1986)
Berlin-based visual artist / illustrator / live performer ranging from editorial publications to video productions. His current research focuses on multimedia storytelling and explores the relationship between music and image creation. In 2011, together with Amiata-born musician Stefano Bechini started WASHOUT PROJECT, a multimedia platform that combines music and digital painting into unique live-sets. CM has painted live and exhibited his works in festivals, projects and venues in Venice, Udin, Genoa, Bruxelles, Berlin and elsewhere.
Massimo Croce was born in Ferrara in 1966. He has lived in Cairo for 9 years, developing his audio sampling skills in a complex environment such as the Egyptian megalopolis. In 2007 he founded the Net Label ozky e-sound. In 2010 he moved almost steadily in the Natison Valleys.
the two sound tracks contained in the performance are taken from:
Ύμνοι και θρήνοι της Αλώσεως(Hymn and Laments for the Fall of Constantinople)
1. Σημαίνει ο θος, σημαίν η γή (God and earth ring out)
2. Δεύτε μαρτυρικήν αδελφοί - Χαίροις συναγωγή κραταία Χαίροις τροπαιοφόρος πλήθυς(Come brothers let us praise the phalanx of martyrsHail strong gathering)
All soundscape were recorded in the monasteries of: Filotheou, Dyonysiou, Agiou Pavlou, Osiou Gregoriou, Aghiou Panteleimonos, on January 1985 by Moreno Miorelli